BookSlam is an annual competition for primary schools in Wales and is based on reading English-language books.

Join us in a celebration of reading, encouraging children across Wales to embrace reading and discussing English-language books from Wales. 

Through these fun competitions, we encourage children to take an interest in the world of books and help to build their literacy, interpretation, debating and presenting skills.

The competition creates a real buzz around the world of books and through taking part, pupils develop long-term and positive attitudes towards reading. Reading for pleasure can also support the development of empathy and contribute towards health and wellbeing development. 

The Bookslam competition:

  • is open to pupils in years 3 to 6  
  • offers a wide selection of books on its reading list in order to engage a cross-section of pupils 
  • provides flexibility for teachers to operate on a whole class level or in MAT groups 
  • contributes to the requirements of the Language Charter 
  • conforms to the requirements of the Curriculum for Wales 
  • offers valuable experiences outside school 

As well as being fun, the competitive element of the programme:

  • motivates children of all abilities to read and discuss books 
  • gives the children and their schools a chance to win generous prizes. 

Competition Details 

The competition starts at a county level. 

Each county in Wales will select one school to represent the county in the National Round. 

Each team will choose ONE book from the booklist for discussion and ONE different book for presentation in the form of a promotional advertisement. 

Please contact your county organiser or to confirm the regional arrangements. 



The team is not required to prepare its discussion beforehand but every member is expected to respond to open-ended questions and comments by the adjudicator. They should also be able to respond to each other’s comments and show that they have delved deeply into the book. 

Choose ONE book from the reading list. 

Maximum of 4 members in each team. 

The session should last up to 8 minutes. 


Promotional advertisement: 

The main aim of the performance is to encourage children to read and buy the book by endorsing its appeal to an audience of the same age. 

Each team chooses ONE book which is different to the one chosen for the discussion. 

Maximum of 8 members in each team. 

Pupils presenting the book need not be the same as those taking part in the discussion. 

Maximum of 6 minutes for the promotional performance. 

Props and costumes are allowed. 

PowerPoint presentations and special lighting effects ARE NOT permitted. 

Performances should start and finish with an empty stage. 

One mark is deducted for each half minute over the permitted 6 minutes. 

Pre-recorded music can be used on an audio track but live musical accompaniment by teachers on the stage is not allowed. 


50% is awarded for the discussion and 50% awarded for the performance 


Discussion Guidelines 


What will the judge be looking for? 


  • A thorough knowledge of the books read. 
  • The ability to express opinions clearly and articulately. 
  • A group discussion that agrees or disagrees with the views put forward by others in the team. 
  • The ability to delve deeply into the storylines and characters of the books, wherever possible or appropriate. 
  • The ability to show enjoyment of the book’s successful elements. 
  • The ability to show reasoning through honest and fair expression of opinions. 
  • An equal and balanced contribution by all four members of the team. 
  • References, where appropriate, to general reading outside the confines of the competition. 
  • The ability to discuss characters and their qualities and express opinions about them. 


What will the judges be looking for?  

  • A presentation that captures the tone of the book and encourages the target audience to read the book in question. 
  • A lively presentation with various dramatic effects. 
  • Confident and effective use of the entire stage. 
  • The ability to convey messages and project voices in a loud, clear and confident manner. 
  • Effective movements using all the performance space. 
  • The ability to work as a team and to give each individual a chance to contribute to the presentation. 
  • Effective use of costumes and props, though this is not compulsory.